interact model one -- looking for docs

Jim Battle frustum at
Thu Jan 31 20:09:23 CST 2008

Hello vintage microcomputer fans.

I recently bought an Interact Model One computer on ebay 
(#150208636366).  It was in good shape and it went relatively cheaply. 
This beastie is 8080 based, and has very coarse color graphics.  Mine is 
unusual in that it has a white housing and a real keyboard, not the ash 
gray case and tiny rubber keys of all the other interacts I've seen.  It 
has an integrated cassette deck, and no ROM BASIC -- that has to be 
loaded from tape.  By all measures is was really a miserable little 
runt.  :-)

Well, the seller put it in a box that was exactly as wide as the 
computer, such that there was no padding in that axis, other than the 
cardboard of the box.  The rest was just stuffed with foam peanuts, and 
a small sheet of bubble wrap that was floating in the box.

As you might guess, it didn't fare well.  The space bar popped off and 
peanuts got jammed inside the machine.  Luckily, it was easy to put 
back.  Three of the five buttons of the integrated cassette deck broke 
off.  The plastic buttons are OK; it was just the glue that broke, and 
the keys can be glued back on.  Worst, a corner of the case shattered 
into pieces, and left a large crack along the top rear.  Being out $68 
isn't so painful as the idea that this thing found its way through the 
world for 30 years in decent condition and then got ravaged due to 
simple carelessness.

Still, I crossed my fingers and plugged it in.  At first I thought it 
was dead, but then realized it is putting out modulated video.  After 
swapping my in nice Sony color monitor for a TV and tuning in channel 3, 
I get a "DEPRESS L TO LOAD TAPE" message.  Hooray for that.  All isn't 
well, though, as pressing the "READ" button doesn't cause the tape 
mechanism to turn, even after pressing L.  It is kind of moot, though, 
as the plastic cover doesn't pop up when I press eject.

A web search hasn't turned up any useful information on the machine -- 
scans of manuals, in particular.   A short time ago, a much more 
complete system, including manuals, sold on ebay (#220191106456), to 
"hokinfan".  I attempted to contact the buyer to see if he could help me 
out, but ebay rejected my attempts because they didn't see any trading 
history between us.  (please, no ebay rants)

So, does anybody on the list happen to have any form of technical 
documents that I might be able to use to help troubleshoot this?  Beside 
wanting the information just to have it in case, I do have an immediate 
need to figure out the tape deck, and to rig up some replacement 
joysticks, since the machine didn't come with them.


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